About Minnesota Fringe

There is one big thing that makes Fringe different from any other event in town: All the shows you'll see at Fringe were selected randomly by lottery.

Yep. That's right. Each year the lineup is crafted by placing numbered ping-pong balls into a bingo cage and drawing them out, one by one. From stage veterans to people who are brand new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell. We also provide the necessary support to make producing a show as easy as possible, regardless of where you land on the artistic spectrum.

Anyone (yes, anyone) can apply to have a show in the festival. If you'd like to have a show in our next festival, applications will go live in November here on our website. Sign up for our newsletter to receive a reminder as well as information about other theater events happening around town.

The mission of the Minnesota Fringe is to promote creative freedom and diversity of artistic expression by linking adventurous artists with adventurous audiences. Thank you for joining in this adventure!

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Showtimes

Shows start and end on time at Fringe. With 850 performances of 167 shows in just 11 days, we have to run a tight schedule to avoid descending into chaos. Performances are no more than 60 minutes long with a half hour between each show.

On weekdays shows begin at 5:30pm, 7pm, 8:30pm and 10pm. On weekends there are additional shows at 1pm, 2:30pm and 4pm.

Late seating: There is NO LATE SEATING at Minnesota Fringe. In addition to keeping our schedule, late seating is a safety issue for artists and audiences.

Safety for artists: Some of our theaters require that patrons walk across parts of the stage to reach the seating area, and many of our production companies’ stage work encompasses entrances and exits from the house.

Safety for audiences: Entering a darkened theater, possibly for the first time, and trying to find open seats puts patrons and volunteers at unnecessary risk.

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Fringe Central

Fringe Central, sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, serves as the late-night watering hole for artists, staff, volunteers and audience members alike. Come in after a day full of shows to grab a beer and some bar food. Talk about what you loved and what you didn’t. Meet the artists behind the scenes and actors on the stage. Find out what you should see tomorrow or dream up your own idea for next year. You never know what will happen during Fringe, but dropping by Fringe Central gives you a serious head start.

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What to Wear

Shorts and a t-shirt. Seriously. Also, a pair of comfy shoes will serve you well in case you have to wait in line. Pro tip: Most Fringe shows take place indoors in air-conditioned venues, so having a layer to throw on in case you get chilly is also advisable.

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Choosing a Show

With 850 performances of 167 shows, it's scandalous to see just one. But how to choose the perfect lineup?

Search by genre: You can filter for genres when trying to decide what to see.

Talk to people: It only sounds scary. Just look for the folks in lanyards. Lanyards are worn by Fringe artists and there are at least a thousand of them dying to tell you about their show.

Read and write reviews: See what audiences are raving about on our audience review page, then return the favor and let others know what you thought.

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Get Involved

Fringe isn't just a festival - it's a community, and it couldn't exist without people like you.

Create: Applications for the 2018 festival will go live mid-November on this website. Fringe is open to everyone, all shows are selected by lottery, and you don't even need to have a show ready when you apply.

Attend: Thanks to the new day pass system, attending Fringe is easier and cheaper than ever.

Volunteer: Our 400+ volunteers are near and dear to our hearts and make our festival go, so we shower them with lots of love and complimentary seats! Sign up for a shift now!

Socialize: Join us any night of the festival at our official hangout, Fringe Central sponsored by Surly Brewing and hosted by Grumpy's Bar & Grill - Downtown, for a beer, a burger and maybe even some late-night shenanigans.

Support: Help us create Minnesota's Summer Theater Crawl by donating to or sponsoring our annual festival. Gifts of any size make a large contribution to our ability to meet our mission.

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Box Office Info

Pass + Token = Your Admission

Everyone needs a valid pass to see a show. In addition to your pass, you will receive a token at the venue which guarantees you a seat. Turn in your token to the usher when you enter the theater.

More information about passes and policies here.

Reservations

Optional reservations guarantee a seat for a particular performance and can be purchased online in advance. You must also have a valid to get in. Day passes can be bought online with a reservation to save time, and can be picked up at the venue box office 30 minutes before the performance.

More information about reservations here.

Rules

For everyone's safety, Fringe does not allow late seating or re-admission. Photos and video are prohibited without written permission from the production staff. Fringe cannot provide refunds or exchanges.

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Brendan Philip's reviews

Intermediate Physical Comedy for Advanced Beginners
Perfection

Phenomenal physical comedy, and inventive from beginning to end. Loved it. When I left the theatre my face hurt from smiling and laughing.

One Foot
Stunning

I can't recommend this show enough. The acting is phenomenal and likely some of the best you'll see at the Festival. A beautiful story, beautifully staged.

DUNGEON
Awesome

Loved this show. Incredibly inventive and captivating from start to finish. Go see it!

Pinocchio
Weird

This show is awesomely weird (weirdly awesome?) in the best way. It's hilarious and engaging in unexpected ways. The momentum of the show is slightly interrupted with the scene changes about 2/3rds in, but even with that I loved it. Highly recommend.

Lettres et Café
Charming indeed

I am familiar with the source material (and a big fan of a previous iteration), so when I realized that this was adapted from the same story, it kinda took the wind out of my sails a bit. Nevertheless, this is a charming story. The cast is strong, with Falicia Cunningham being a standout. The show also has some of the best production design you're likely to see at a Fringe show. Ensemble members play small roles, exit the stage and nearly immediately re-enter just to sit and watch, which I found distracting and unnecessary. The near constant motion gets to be exhausting as well - I would have appreciated a little more focused blocking. That said - this is a lovely way to spend an hour so check it out if you have an open slot.

Jefferson Township Sparkling Junior Talent Pageant: A New Musical
Hilarious

An incredibly talented cast + a clever, brutal, and side-splitting book + a tuneful and catchy score = Fringe gold. This show is likely to sell out it's final shows so make your plans now.

Sisyphus
Very Engaging

Christopher Allen is an engaging and charming storyteller, and easily anchors this enjoyable and hilarious show. While a couple of the musical numbers were cleverly written, overall I think the songs dragged / interrupted the pacing. That said I would still definitely recommend checking it out.

The Second Banana Revolt!
3.5 Stars

This show has a fun concept that is largely well executed, cute kids, and two strong leading performances from Wade Fields & Emily Anderson. (Plus major kudos for the hilarious & wonderful Dalek costume!) However, you can tell that a few of the supporting cast members aren't as seasoned, and therefore their scenes/songs can get long. Overall though, it was cute and enjoyable.

MANIFESTO: An American Play
Thought-Provoking & Well Executed

This is a thoughtful and intense piece that is extremely well acted and very compelling. Suffers a little from too many ideas: both the script and the devices used in the staging offer some absolutely stunning moments as well as some that are potentially unnecessary. But it is absolutely well worth checking out - the caliber of acting from all 4 performers is worth the admission alone. (If I could give it 4.5 stars, I would.)

The Memory Box of the Sisters Fox
Excellent

This show is wonderful! The cast is excellent, the story is moving, and the staging is interesting & effective. I'm not sure I was in the right headspace to fully enjoy it at the outset, so it didn't resonate with me as it might have otherwise - but if I could give it 4.5 stars, I would.

Katie Versus The Devils
3.5 Stars

This show has a cool premise and is easily anchored by a wonderfully magnetic performance by Gina Sauer as Katie Luther. It's also pretty funny (or at least our audience thought so). The villains are often saddled with long stretches of obviously evil dialogue... they might as well be steepling their fingers & cackling to complete the image. A little more subtlety on their behalf and a stronger supporting cast would be a benefit to this show. I would love to see a more fleshed out version with a little more plot and a little less monologuing (haven't we learned anything from The Incredibles?).


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